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The Rise of Test Anxiety

The Rise of Test Anxiety

As the common core continues to be more present in incoming and younger students testing is filling up more and more of our children's time.  Many of us don't remember so many tests and assessments and quizzes; we remember projects.  As modern day parents we are educating ourselves more and more everyday of what works and does not work for our children in their educational journey.  Test anxiety is a known symptom of anxiety where a student may freeze up, blank out or forget recently studied material.  

Testing anxiety affects about 18% of adults 25 % of teenagers, and can affect 10 to 40 percent of all students. It is common even in those most prepared for the test. Some factors to test anxiety could be fear of failure or poor test taking in the past. Although testing anxiety is common, it can cause the most prepared students to do poorly on their exams. There is treatment and medication for such test anxiety, but there are also alternative ways of coping. 

Obviously, you want to be as prepared as possible before going to take your test and there are different study methods you could practice to help you retain certain information. You want to study beforehand and take practice tests when available. Always, try to get a good night’s sleep and awake to a healthy breakfast before taking your test.

If your anxiety gets the best of you going into the test you can try taking slow, deep breaths. Try to relax you muscles. Calmly read the questions and concentrate on one question at a time, making sure you understand the question before contemplating the answer.  Using techniques such as meditation and yoga consistently can actually help but will need patience and practice.  Guided imagery can also be very useful.  Continuing to be in good communication with your child's teacher is also very helpful.  And finally letting your child understand slowly that this really is a common condition that many students struggle with and there is hope and help regarding the condition can be very educating and reassuring.

Dr. Priti Kothari
Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatry
priti kothari
Dr. Priti Kothari is a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with fellowship training at John Hopkins Medical Center. Dr. Kothari completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University with a major in Anthropology and a concentration in Women’s Studies. She then went on to perform research in Eating Disorders at Hunter College/CUNY with an affiliation to Cornell Medical Center. She completed Medical School at Ross University and did her Adult Psychiatry Training at University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Hospitals. Subsequently, she completed Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
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